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Educating Rita- How Does Russell Make The Opening Dramatic and Entertaining?

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Educating Rita In this essay I will comment on how Russell comments on modern society in his play Educating Rita. William Russell was born in Whiston, just outside Liverpool, in 1947. At primary school he enjoyed reading, football and gardening, these were the only subjects he liked, but at his secondary school he was consigned to the factory fodder D stream. It was in this surprising environment that he conceived the idea of being a writer. His only experience of factory work caused him to fail to obtain a printing apprenticeship, so his mother suggested he trained to be a women's hairdresser, he worked as a woman's hairdresser for five years eventually running his own salon. After this he was seeking a career that would give him a greater opportunity to write, he decided to become a student, having now passed O Level English at night class. No Local Education Authority would give him a bursary, so he spent some time girder cleaning at Fords in order to fund his college O and A level studies. In 1970 he trained as a teacher. ...read more.


At this point Rita considers herself to be a half cast because she is the only one who wants an education and the only one who wants to be able to have choice. When Rita gets back from summer school she has changed, she is more confident and she thinks she is educated. When Rita was at summer school she decided to take things more seriously so instead of telling a joke when the teacher asked a question she replied sensibly "Are you found of Ferlinghetti? It was right on the tip of my tongue to say only when served with Parmesan cheese but Frank I didn�t" and in a lecture Rita decided to start asking questions "After he'd finished he asked if any one had any questions, an I stood up". From this Rita thinks that she is educated, Frank also knows Rita is starting to become more educated and is kind of getting jealous, he tells Rita this by giving her one of his pieces of poetry. When Rita comes back she tells Frank that his poetry is great "this is brilliant, witty, profound..." ...read more.


He immediately tries to regain his position of authority " You are?", this is a very upper class phrase and Rita, unused to such language takes this phrase literally, "What am I?" Frank gets confused and so it continues until Frank gives up and studies the admission papers. This confusion is funny and we see that it is useless for Frank to try to gain any authority over Rita since she is at the college because she wants to be and wants to do things in her own way. Rita then alerts Frank to a painting and asks him if he thinks it's erotic. Frank is obviously surprised and mutters something about not having looked at it for ten years. Rita, however, does not give up. "Look at those tits" Frank, slightly embarrassed and shocked coughs and engrosses himself in looking at the admission papers again. This shows the contrast between Frank and Rita's classes and backgrounds: Frank has probably never been approached like this before and being upper class doesn't talk about anything to do with sex or nudity openly. Frank is also shocked about being asked such a question from a complete stranger. Russell makes his opening interesting and entertaining with comedy.The audience is eager to see more and has a good idea of Frank and Rita's characters. ...read more.

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